Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hand Scanner

The government agency where I work is trying to enforce a new "time sheet system" that involves daily hand scanning of their employees.

The procedure is dehumanizing, treating me and other workers as machines.

My body is my domain. To scan it takes away from me one of the last vestiges of privacy and agency. So far, I am resisting this measure.

Who is exempt of this classist/racist/sexist practice? Only workers (mostly managers) who earn more than X amount can avoid the technology for the time being. My yearly salary, it turns out, is $200 under the threshold.

It leaves me considering other invasive technologies in my everyday life. Each time Galvino enters the US, for instance, he has his retina scanned and fingers printed.

My own fingers were printed when I was hired at the government agency. And I had to pay for it with a $94.50 money order issued by the post office. Clearly, the IT dept at work makes it known that they read our emails and check what web sites we visit on company time. A firewall is set up to prevent workers from looking at sites "unrelated" to work.

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